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Millions of South Africans Head to Polls in Crucial 2024 Elections

South Africans head to the polls on Wednesday for a pivotal election, with 27 million registered voters electing a new parliament, which will then choose a president. Alongside this, voters will also elect their representatives in provincial legislative chambers. Experts have described the current election exercise as possibly the most consequential since the country transitioned to democracy in 1994 as it could see the ruling African National Congress (ANC) lose its majority for the first time in three decades, potentially necessitating a coalition. Voters are disillusioned with the ruling party due to a 32.9% unemployment rate, rising crime, corruption scandals, and frequent power and water shortages. The economy is also not helping matters, growing by just 0.6% in 2023. Voter turnout, which has declined from 89% in 1999 to 66% in 2019, could be crucial, with low participation possibly benefiting the ANC. The election’s full results will be declared by weekend.